Brazil-based Actis director Sergio Brandao will leave the UK private equity fund later this year to launch a consultancy focused on in-bound foreign investment into the infrastructure sector, he told Inframation.
Brandao, 57, has been handing over his responsibilities to fellow Actis director Bruno Moraes since mid-way through last year and aims to complete the transition by July.
The São Paulo-based director said he will initially “take stock” of his options and spend more time with his family following his departure, but intends to start picking up consulting board assignments and building a portfolio of clients in around a year.
“What I am thinking right now is using my 30 plus years of experience to build something of my own,” he said.
Brandao said he expects clients from the UK, US, Europe and Asia looking to enter Brazil’s infrastructure sector for the first time tone clients of the consultancy.
“There are a lot of large fund managers and Asian companies who have been flying in and out of Brazil and also some large energy companies and a lot of financial investors that are looking to diversify into renewables,” he said.
Brandao currently sits on the boards of all three of Actis’ renewable energy platforms in Brazil, but said the focus of the consultancy would be broader that just the renewable energy sector.
“Renewables are the name of the game right now…but the core issues in renewable energy are common to all types of infrastructure projects, such as how to release finance, how to draft construction contracts, how to partner with the right people and how to ensure good governance,” he said.
Brandao joined Actis as energy director from Rio Bravo Investimentos tasked with overseeing the UK fund’s expansion into the renewable energy space in Brazil.
In 2013, the same year he joined, Actis acquired a 60% stake in Atlantic Energias Renováveis and acquired the remaining 40% stake to take full control of the wind farm developer three years later.
In 2017, Actis launched two further renewable energy platforms: Atlas Renewable Energy with the acquisition of over 1.5GW of solar PV assets from SunEdison and Echoenergia with the acquisition of wind farms totalling 346MW from Casa dos Ventos.
Brandao said he decided to leave Actis because all three platforms are in a “very comfortable moment”.
“We expect valuations [of Atlas and Echoenergia] to increase significantly when the pension reform is passed and the tax reform should also give both a significant bump too. It’s hard to predict by how much, but the sentiment on main street is that all should go up significantly, so it is a very comfortable position for the company to be in a comfortable time to leave,” he said.
Atlantic Energias Renováveis is currently in the final stages of its sale to China General Nuclear and Atlas and Echoenergia both fully financed to complete their remaining construction commitments, he added.
Before joining Actis, Brandao was a partner at Rio Bravo Investments and also held positions at companies including Skanska Infrastructure Development, Royal Dutch Shell and AES Corporation.